Capri, Italy

The Best Mini-Moon Destinations in Europe

You’ve done it: you’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, and you’ve gotten married. Congratulations! Once you’ve finished answering questions about where you’ll live, what your plans for the future are, or how many kids you’ll have (thanks, grandma), there’s one very important question left to answer: where are you going to honeymoon?

Travel to: Europe

A honeymoon traditionally describes the first month of marriage (the moon cycle during which your relationship is supposedly at its sweetest!), but it’s come to be known as a vacation the newly-married couple takes immediately following or soon after their wedding, as a way of celebrating. There are different honeymoon styles for everyone, from trekking expeditions to Antarctic cruises to more classic beachside escapes, but many couples are opting for a “mini-moon.” Here, we’ve put together all you need to know about this new kind of honeymoon, as well as some of our top picks for the best destinations for mini-moons in Europe (in 2020).

A painted sign that says happily ever after
Is a mini-moon the perfect option for after your wedding? | © Ben Rosett/Unsplash

What is a mini-moon?

First of all, you may be wondering what, exactly, a mini-moon is. While most honeymoons are typically a week or longer, some couples have decided to opt for shorter city breaks instead of more lavish vacations. For some, this is a way to sneak in a quick, refreshing vacation between the madness of the wedding and the actual honeymoon further down the line, and for others, it’s in replacement of the longer honeymoon. What it means to you and your partner is entirely up to you!

Why go on a mini-moon?

There are many great reasons why couples choose to go on a mini-moon!

  1. You’ll spend less money travelling for a shorter period of time.
  2. You may be able to afford upgrades such as luxury accommodation or food if you aren’t paying for a longer honeymoon.
  3. If you are unable to take much time off work, a mini-moon ensures you still get the honeymoon experience.
  4. If you’ve planned a larger honeymoon further in advance, you’ll still be able to jet off to a relaxing vacation with your new spouse and relax for a couple of days immediately after the wedding.  

Best places for mini-moons in Europe

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

If the mini-moon is the honeymoon’s quirky cousin, Amsterdam is possibly the best place to have one. Home to quirky museums (do you dream of visiting an art gallery dedicated solely to cats? You’ll find it here), effortlessly-cool speakeasies, and beautiful open spaces for you and your better half to wander through, Amsterdam is the place to be for couples who don’t take themselves too seriously.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Didn’t get to dance and drink the night away enough at the wedding? A visit to the coastal city of Dubrovnik may be just what the doctor ordered. Dotted with everything from thumping nightclubs to classy wine bars, Dubrovnik is the city for couples looking to let loose and truly celebrate their new marriage. It’s not all about drinking and dancing, though; the Medieval city is also home to museums, cute cafes, and a bustling art and culture scene.

Dubrovnik, Croatia
Enjoy the nightlife, culture, and scenery in Dubrovnik | © Morgan/Unsplash

Ponta Delgada, Portugal

Located on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores, a tiny cluster of islands off the coast of Portugal, Ponta Delgada is the perfect destination for mini-mooning travellers looking to get away from it all and just enjoy each others’ company. Wander around the cobbled streets of the city, and then explore the lush greenery that seems to be everywhere you look on Sao Miguel – they don’t call it The Green Island for nothing!

A car mirror showing a road in Ponta Delgada, Portugal
The lush greenery of Ponta Delgada is perfect for a laidback mini-moon | © Jorge Caetano/Unsplash

Budapest, Hungary

Hungary’s capital city is filled with adventure, history, and, of course, romantic views! With the magical Danube flowing through its centre, spend some time on either side of the city – both Buda and Pest are filled with thermal pools, culturally-significant museums, adorable cafes, and a lively nightlife scene. Visit the iconic Royal Palace to get your fill of culture for the day, and then head to Szimpla Kert, a ruin pub where you’ll find great drinks and a million things to discover.

Bruges, Belgium

For a picture-perfect mini-moon, look no further than the Medieval city of Bruges in northwest Belgium! Climb to the top of the Belfry tower for panoramic views of the city, sit back and relax on a romantic canal cruise, and, of course, eat all the incredible Belgian chocolate you can get your hands on. The city is incredible pedestrian-friendly, so you can spend hours wandering the cobbled streets on foot, by bike, or even via horse-drawn carriage!

Buildings along a canal in Bruges, Belgium
If your love is like a fairytale, it deserves a fairytale city like Bruges! | © Libby Penner/Unsplash

Read the article: Southeast Asia for Couples

Capri, Italy

This island in Italy’s Bay of Naples has it all if you and your partner are obsessed with all things luxury! Take things at your own pace: you can climb mountains and hike along rugged coastal cliffs, or you can relax on the beach after a long day of shopping and sipping Limoncello. Of course, there’s no need to choose one or the other; you can have it all in Capri!

Capri, Italy
Stroll alongside gorgeous views in Capri | © Aliaksandr Savitski/Unsplash

Whether you choose to go on a mini-moon for the smaller expense, the desire to quickly get back to the real world, or as a treat before a larger honeymoon, it’s sure to be an incredible experience: after all, you’re going on a vacation with the person you’ve decided to spend the rest of your life with! Once you’ve chosen your dream mini-moon destination, all you’ll have to do is start the countdown to the big day.

Would you opt for a mini-moon? Where would you go?

Maggie is a life-long traveller with a special affinity for the United Kingdom. When she's not reading, writing, or dreaming about her next trip, you can find her talking at length about her dog to anyone who'll listen.

two people sitting close together on grass field
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